Random Thoughts

The Beatles… Remastered and in Stereo

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This is a bit late because I really wanted to take my time and listen and listen and continue listening. Anyone that likes to listen to music or is a musician knows about listeners fatigue also known as ear fatigue. Due to that it took me a while to go through the complete Beatles anthology, both in mono and in stereo. Not only comparing them to each other but also comparing them to the 1986 CD release, the digital copies I made out of the original LP’s in VBR mp3’s and lastly to the original vinyl.

I got to give George Martin much respect. He is in fact the fifth beatle. Due of this huge undertaking of remastering the Beatles catalogue there is another generation that will be able to experience the wonder and awe that were/are the Beatles.

I started to listen to them, at first, as an engineer deciding in which format to encode them to my music library… after much listening in various codecs and bit rates I finally settle that anything less than lossless was heresy. I was able to acquire the mono remastered from a close friend. George Martin once said “You’ve never really heard Sgt. Pepper until you’ve heard it in mono.” I completely agree with that statement. But as a curious person that I am… I also wanted the remastered, remixed stereo version, which I was fortunate to acquire. Once more, encoding them in lossless.

As an audio engineer I have been conditioned to listen for a few things, to listen critically. I have several of different ear phones, headphones and speakers to help me through the process. Great mastering can make music sound the best it can over all sorts of systems, played back in differing environments: headphones, car audio, plastic computer speakers, and high-end audio systems. This also applies to crappy audio formats. (128kbps in MP3 which sadly is the default quality most people’s music is encoded in, even sadder most people can’t tell the difference in bit quality or format.) But enough mumble jumble of encoding and bit rate.

My personal opinion is that true to the nature which is George Martin and his works in the 60’s. He’s done again. Here, in the later part of the first decade in the 21th century, 40 years after the Beatle first came unto the scene and the British invasion hit the US, he has a hit. Another generation will be able to know and listen to the Beatles. One of the greatest bands in the history of music.

While I might be a bit bias… I grew up listening to the Beatles music from a very small age. I still think this something ever music lover or even better yet music listener should have in their music library. It doesn’t matter if it is in Mono or in stereo, they are both a great addition to anyone.

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